BRIAN MARTIN writes that while the coronavirus pandemic has suspended the 2019-20 NBA season, it has not lessened the league’s global impact and reach. Over the past week, 18 NBA and WNBA players created public service announcement videos to share important health and wellness information about ways to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Those videos have generated more than 37 million views across the league’s social media accounts.
The league is using its vast digital footprint and the powerful voices of teams, players, coaches, doctors and others across the NBA family to launch “NBA Together” – a global community and social engagement campaign that aims to support, engage, educate and inspire youth, families and fans in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The programme is centered on four pillars – Know the Facts, Acts of Caring, Expand Your Community and NBA Together Live – that will amplify the latest global health and safety information, share guidelines and resources, and keep people and communities socially connected through digital tools and virtual events as everyone copes with the impact of the pandemic.
As part of NBA Together, the NBA family is committed to contributing and helping raise more than $50 million to support people impacted by the coronavirus and community and healthcare organizations providing vital services around the world, which includes the more than US$30 million financial commitment already made by NBA and WNBA teams and players to date.
Know the Facts
This week, the NBA launched its Coronavirus Information For NBA Fans webpage (https://on.nba.com/2Us8eTM) which is updated daily with content and links to provide global fans the latest information on developments in their regions and how they can best protect themselves and others from the virus. The site features resources to reduce coronavirus risk with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and local and federal health experts.
The NBA and WNBA will continue to use the influential voices of players, coaches and legends through public service announcements to inform fans on the best ways to stay safe and healthy in both their body and mind as the world faces the rapidly changing and evolving pandemic.
Acts of Caring
The “Acts of Caring” initiative looks to shine a light on the power of community and volunteerism by inspiring 1 million big and small acts of kindness. The NBA is calling on players, fans and the general public to share ways they are supporting friends, families and communities by posting photos and videos with the hashtag #NBATogether on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. These acts can include teaching virtual classes, buying groceries for neighbours in need or donating supplies. Visit cares.nba.com/actsofcaring to learn more.
Expand Your Community
During this time of social distancing, the NBA is encouraging fans to expand their communities through content, activities and virtual engagement in an effort to stay physically and mentally healthy and active.
This includes the launch of “Jr. NBA at Home,” (https://on.nba.com/3bqRK5t) a new interactive content series for young people who are currently unable to play with their friends and teammates, but still want to be active, work on their game and connect with the NBA. The programme features at-home basketball skills and drills that promote physical activity and character development and can be completed individually and in limited space. It also includes curated content and messages from NBA and WNBA players to inspire boys and girls around the world to stay active in a healthy and safe way. The programme will feature daily posts on the @jrnba social media (https://bit.ly/2J8o7cE) channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and NBA digital properties across the globe, and integration with NBA technology partner and mobile basketball training application HomeCourt. (https://bit.ly/2Ur7NJj)
In addition to “Jr. NBA at Home,” the NBA will engage education and wellness partners, such as Scholastic Inc. (https://bit.ly/2J3YV7d), Discovery Education (https://bit.ly/2QzWsWx), and NBA Math Hoops (https://bit.ly/2Ur9jeI) to promote existing resources for students and parents that have been adapted for at-home learning. NBA personalities and educators will create short virtual lessons that will make learning at home fun.
And in an effort to combat the higher levels of anxiety and stress during these uncertain times, the NBA, in partnership with Headspace (https://bit.ly/2UkKaCk), will provide mental wellness and resiliency resources and tools to encourage fans to be mindful of their mental wellness and the wellbeing of those around them.
NBA Together Live
Every weekday at 3:00 p.m. EST a member of the NBA family will engage with fans globally, participating in a live interview with NBA broadcast talent or taking questions from fans on Instagram live. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love will tip off the series beginning today. Additionally, every night the NBA will stream classic games on NBA social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. Tune in tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET to catch the Feb. 27, 2016 Warriors @ Thunder game.
To further help NBA fans stay connected with their favorite players and teams, the NBA partnered with Turner Sports to offer a free preview of NBA League Pass, the league’s premium subscription-based product, until April 22. This complimentary offering features access to full length and condensed replays of all games from the 2019-20 season, as well as an expansive archive of classic games and content. Fans can redeem this free offer by signing into their NBA account through NBA.com or the NBA App on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android mobile and tablet devices, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other supported devices.
The phrase “bigger than basketball” is often used when discussing the efforts of a player or team to make a positive impact in their community. The response to this global pandemic is the epitome of “bigger than basketball” as the NBA looks to do its part to help people across the globe come together and work through these tough times.